A brewer and his family collected their half of the $363-million Big Game lottery jackpot Friday, after waiting nearly two weeks to identify themselves as one of two winners of the largest U.S. lottery prize.
Joe Kainz, 64, and his wife, Sue, 62, of Tower Lakes, a northwest suburb of Chicago, accepted their winnings Friday with their three sons and daughter-in-law. The other winner, the owner of a swimming pool company from suburban Detroit, stepped forward last week.
The Kainz family owns and operates a small brewery and a medical supply company in the Chicago suburbs. The Kainzes and their sons, Michael, 34, Patrick, 29, and John, 26, and Michael's wife, Jennifer, 29, had pooled money to buy 50 $1 tickets for the May 9 drawing. They opted for a lump-sum payment of about $61-million after taxes.
Kainz, a regular lottery player, had purchased the tickets while stopping at a service station in the nearby suburb of Mount Prospect, to buy gas. When he realized that he had won, "my stomach retreated to the lower portion of my body," he said. He and his wife immediately locked the ticket in a safe deposit box at a bank.
Kainz on Friday compared his family to that of the other prize winner, Larry Ross, 47, whose children also work for the family business. Ross also took his prize in a lump sum payment of about $61-million, after taxes.
Kainz said he and his wife had no intention of retiring, but instead would use some of their money to improve their businesses, including the Wild Onion Brewing Co., which Kainz said is on schedule to "just break even" this year. They also will replace the leaky roof on their home and travel to Ireland and France, and they said they planned to give away a lot of the money to charity.
Patrick and John Kainz, who are both single, joked that they would probably be hearing from many of their old girlfriends.
But John Kainz had this message for them: "Too bad, suckers."